Fiscal Responsibility Policy and General Accounting Practices
Fiscal Responsibility Policy
Public office is not to be used for personal gain, and Board members and the Director are to remain objective in their duties and responsive to the needs of the public they serve. Accordingly, the Director and Board members must maintain the highest commitment to their responsibilities as stewards of the Library.
All district funds are defined as “Public Funds." This includes, but is not limited to, all sums actually received in cash or negotiable instruments from all sources, whether or not the money has ever been deposited into a Library account. Any money controlled by the Library, including gifts, fines, fees and all funds received from any source, are considered “public funds” and are governed by this policy.
Personal Use of District Funds:
Neither the Director nor any Board member will use or permit the use of Library funds, vehicles, equipment, telephones, materials or property for their own personal benefit or profit. Neither the Director nor a Board member will ask or require a Library employee to perform services for the personal benefit or profit of a Board member or the Director. The Director and all Board members will safeguard Library property, equipment, moneys and assets against unauthorized use or removal, as well as from loss due to criminal act or breach of trust.
Segregation of Fiscal Duties and Internal Controls
- No one person should control or perform all key aspects of a transaction or financial event. Segregation of duties is an important internal control activity that helps detect errors in a timely manner and deters improper activities. Internal controls instituted by the Library will assist the board in maintaining adequate fiscal oversight of the expenditure of funds.
- The adequacy of these guidelines and our compliance efforts should be reviewed after each audit and as otherwise needed. Procedures shall be modified to correct any deficiencies discovered during regular audits or at any other time.
- All Library employees, the Director and Board members are bound by this policy.
- Any alleged violation of this policy by Library staff shall be investigated by the Director. If actual violation is determined, the Director shall impose sanction appropriate to the degree of violation, up to and including termination. Any employee impacted by an action under this policy may appeal to the Board, as allowed by the library’s general employee handbook.
- Any alleged violation of this policy by the Director shall be investigated by the Board, or by a committee appointed by the Board for this purpose. If actual violation is determined, the Board shall impose sanction appropriate to the degree of violation, up to and including termination.
- Any alleged violation by a Board member shall be investigated by the remaining Board members. If actual violation is determined, the Board may impose sanction as warranted, up to and including requesting the resignation of the Board member.
- The Library reserves the option of reporting any significant violation of this policy to appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation and possible prosecution.
Policy on General Accounting Practices
The Saratoga Springs Public Library District’s fiscal year shall be July 1st to June 30th.
The Saratoga Springs Public Library District shall use the "Accrual Accounting Method".
The Saratoga Springs Public Library District’s files and finances will be audited annually by a qualified Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
The following are authorized to sign checks and transact business on behalf of the Saratoga Springs Public Library District:
- Vice President
- Library District Treasurer
- Library Director
Procedures for Ordering and Paying Bills:
- Bidding and purchasing laws and the library procurement policy must be adhered to.
- Only authorized personnel may place orders as specified in the Authorizations section below.
- All purchases must stay within the approved limits as set by the Board in the annual operating budget OR within a received grant.
- Only the Board of Trustees, by majority vote of those trustees attending a meeting, can secure a new or change an existing bank account, credit card, or other financial tool.
- The Library Director, or the Director’s designee, is authorized to purchase anything needed for the library provided such expenditures are within the scope of the approved budget.
- The Account Clerk and Administration Clerk are permitted to purchase office supplies and office machinery as needed and to make repair calls as needed provided such expenditures are within the scope of the approved budget.
- The Assistant Library Director, and the Adult Services, Youth Services, and Access and Outreach Services Department Heads or their designees are authorized to purchase from book and A/V vendors, and to make purchases to support library programming and staff training, provided such expenditures are within the scope of the approved budget.
- The Operations Working Supervisor, or the Working Supervisor’s designee, is authorized to purchase cleaning supplies and equipment, supplies needed for building repairs and service calls for library building and vehicle provided such expenditures are within the scope of the approved budget.
- The Computer Services Manager is authorized to purchase computer and network hardware and software necessary for library operations, and to make repair calls as need providing such expenditures are within the scope of the approved budget.
- The Human Resources Manager is authorized to purchase professional services such as those relating to labor law, background checks, and staff training, provided such expenditures are within the scope of the approved budget. Additionally, the Human Resources Manager is authorized to purchase supplies and refreshments for staff training and recognition events.
- The Director, Assistant Director, and Public Service Department Heads, or their designees, are authorized to use the library credit cards, with the exception of the gasoline credit card, which The Operations Working Supervisor, or his designee is authorized to use.
- Trustees are not authorized to make purchases with, or that encumber, library funds w/o prior board approval.
Credit Card Responsibility and Use Procedures:
- Bank credit cards are established in the name of the Saratoga Springs Public Library and the specific name of an individual with a maximum credit limit for each set by the Library. All monthly bank statements and correspondence will be sent to the Library.
- Bank credit cards will be issued to:
- Director with a credit limit of $5,000
- Assistant Library Director with a credit limit of $5,000
- Head of Access and Outreach Services with a credit limit of $5,000
- Head of Adult Services with a credit limit of $5,000
- Head of Youth Services with a credit limit of $5,000
- Bank credit cards will be issued to:
- Prior to initial receipt of any credit card, eligible employees must complete and sign the Agreement for use of Bank Credit Card form stating that they understand and will comply with the Library’s Credit Card Responsibility and Use procedures.
- Expenses may be incurred with the credit card only if all of the following conditions are met:
- Expenditures must be within the guidelines of the particular activity of the approved budget. The card is not to be used for any personal expenses.
- Proper documentation to support the expenditure must be sent to the Account Clerk in the Administration Office prior to the receipt of the monthly statement.
Tax Exemption Certificates and letters are available in the Administration office or the staff webpage. The Library is an exempt unit of local government, and no sales tax should be charged on purchases made on the Library’s behalf.
Procedures for Paying Bills:
The Senior Account Clerk or Administration Clerk opens the mail.
Bills are distributed to Director, Assistant Director or Department Heads, as appropriate.
The Director, Assistant Director, Department Head, or designee matches the invoice with the packing slip.
The Director, Assistant Director or Department Head approves each invoice and those with questions are put aside for further investigation and/or backup documentation.
The Senior Account Clerk records each invoice in library’s accounting software, assigns a Chart of Accounts code and prepares an individual "voucher" slip for each invoice.
The Senior Account Clerk uses the Library’s accounting software to cut checks.
The Library District Treasurer reviews each invoice and approves it for payment.
The Senior Account Clerk prepares a report of all pending checks, including PO and/or invoice # and check number and includes it in the board packet for all Trustees.
The final version of these reports is to be included in the board packet along with the other monthly financial reports for acceptance by the board by specific action or as part of the consent agenda.
The Library District Treasurer and/or a designated Trustee signs checks.
The report to the board listed above shall not delay the issuance of checks.
Checks are normally scheduled to be run to coincide with monthly board meetings. In the event that a particular payment is required prior to a board meeting, a smaller check run will be completed each month, normally corresponding with payroll cycles. In those instances, the Library Director will sign checks, and invoices will be approved by the Library District Treasurer.
For credit card purchases, receipts or acknowledgements are printed at the time of purchase or as soon as possible thereafter, and submitted to the Senior Account Clerk, who reconciles receipts with statements. Payment for credit card bills is handled as above.
Approved July 14, 2014; Revised August 15, 2022